Sunday, July 12, 2009


Hello from SUNNY San Diego… The temp is 86 degrees today and it was decision day for the Composter from Costco.

We are back to being a one composter family at this time. The ECOmposter didn’t work as well as I expected it to and it had a few little quirks… There were 3 main reasons that I returned the product and they are as follows.

(1) I felt that the wheels on the base for rolling it might have been a little undersized.

(2) The material that it is made of has a tendency to sag/give when it was in the sun and because of the dimples formed at each wheel site made it extremely difficult to rotate.

(3) I also thought that the internal air tubes tended to keep the raw ingredients of the compost balled up into a ball at the center of the unit.

If I had a grassy back yard to roll the unit around on I might have opted for the regular base but my gardening area is basically concrete and gravel with a couple of raised beds. I did find it easier to rolled around than rotate on the stand but the concrete was putting excessive wear on the outside of the composter and I felt that it would significantly reduce its working life.

Now that I have pointed of the faults I found with the ECOmposter I must say a few good things about it.

(1) It gave me a very rewarding feeling when I was able to complete the jigsaw puzzle of pieces to get it put together (might just be a guy thing.)

(2) Adding yard and kitchen waste was very easy.

(3) It has to be the easiest composter I have ever tried for emptying. You roll it to a spot, remove one end cover, rolled it over and remove the other end cover and lift up the composter.

I am not a master composter and these are only my opinion about the ECOmposter. I have a very limited supply of browns to go into my composter and have to rely on shredded paper, and peat moss to balance out my kitchen waste and lawn clippings. I have been opting for paper at the grocery store when asked “Paper or Plastic?” because the brown bags seem to really work well in my mix. For those that want me to say “NEITHER”, I am not at that point yet.

I do want to give a shout out to COSTCO. They are very easy to deal with for online or in store purchases and they have to have one of the easiest return systems in the world. I brought in my paperwork, the ECOmposter and they asked a couple of question. Within 10 minutes I was in and out and they even reimbursed me for the shipping when I ordered my composter online. Yeah COSTCO!

What is growing in my garden this year to get the benefits of my composting successes? Tomatoes, potatoes, zucchini, yellow squash, a couple of sunflowers and one pole bean that decided to reseed itself from last year. Since I didn’t notice the beans until they were well on the way to coming up with another batch of seeds for the next generation.

I have recently planted a variety of gourds. I was able to get into a seed exchange on Garden.web a couple of years ago and got a small box with about 10 to 15 different hard shelled gourd seeds. The leftover seeds are now in the 3 to 4 year old range and not sure if anything will germinate and grow but they are at least getting a chance.

This was also a year for removing and moving things around in the landscape. A warm weather variety of lilac was removed and given to my boss. A tree fern now has a new home outside in the patio area at work. A potted Italian lemon tree is now growing happily in the ground. My naked lady lilies, various agapanthus, spider plants and papyrus plants have all found new homes due to either craigslist or

As I get older I am now loosing my thought that a plant is forever and now realize that it is OK to give one away, compost it or just putting it in with the green waste for curb side pick-up.

I have put up a new wind mill (decorative only) made from an old bike wheel. I haven’t lost the wind turbine dream. I am still working on things but life just seems to get extremely busy and full at times.

Have a great summer, enjoy the weather and Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.